Iran: No, We Don't Have a 'Time Machine'

In a shocking revelation that's sure to disappoint "Back to the Future" fans around the globe, an Iranian official has been forced to deny that an inventor from the Islamic nation has registered a "time machine" with the state.

"Making scientific claims is free for all, but registration of these claims as inventions should undergo certain legal stages based on scientific proofs and evidence," Iran's Deputy Minister of Science, Research and Technology Mohammad Mehdinejad Nouri said today, according to Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency. "Such a claim has not been registered in Iran's State Organization for Registration for Strategic Inventions."

Nouri's announcement in Fars - also reported by Iran's PressTV - came days after Fars ran a bizarre story in which 27-year-old Iranian inventor Ali Razeqi reportedly claimed to have registered the "Aryayek Time Traveling Machine." The young man's definition of "time travel" is a far reach from Marty McFly's, however, as he said his device is only meant to allow the user to predict the "next five to eight years of the life of its users" with up to 98 percent accuracy.

"It will not take you into the future, it will bring the future to you," Razeqi said, according to today's Fars report. No flux capacitor here.

Razeqi's original story, which appeared on Fars' Farsi-language site, mysteriously vanished from the web Thursday, according to The Washington Post, but not before it gained a curious following on social media and with some skeptical Western news outlets - apparently enough to prompt Nouri's public response.

Foreign Policy noted that beyond the major claim of the original article about a watered-down "time machine," some of the details in the report raised enough questions that their reporter concluded, "If this story is true at all, it's actually just about one obscure crank saying ridiculous things - a phenomenon hardly unique to Iran."